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Samsung News & Analysis

Phone Calls Add Value to Facebook's WhatsApp Deal

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Facebook's $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp looked a bit smarter today after the fast-growing messaging service announced at the World Mobile Congress that it will add phone calls within the next few months.

The WhatsApp announcement came as a surprise to those attending the mobile conference, where Nokia, Samsung, HTC and other key players also made news. WhatsApp already has 465 million monthly text and voicemail users, but wanted to add a live call service.

"We want to make sure people always have the ability to stay in touch with their friends and loved ones really affordably," WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum said at the conference, according to a CNN report from the scene. Koum said the company will roll out the service on Apple and Android phones during the first half of the year, then add the service for Blackberry and Windows phones. 

Amazon Updates Fire OS to 3.1, Announces Cloud Streaming Games

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Kindle Fire users can update their tablets. Amazon is bringing a major refresh to the device's operating system that offers improved management of books, newspapers, magazines and apps.

Also added is Goodreads support, allowing users to find and discuss recommended books, plus second screen support for PlayStation consoles and Samsung TVs to bring video on the big screen.

But the most disruptive news from the giant today comes in the form of AppStream, a new service that allows intensive games or apps to play on any device. This, in time, could threaten premium hardware sales and games console launches.

Pebble Skips On as Majors Stutter in the Smartwatch Battle

Thumbnail image for pebblewatchrange.jpgWhile Samsung and Sony make no noticeable impact on a nascent market with their smartwatch offerings, crowdsourced favorite Pebble continues to make headway. Boasting a new SDK and improved support for iOS 7, a major new update improves its utility as a filter for notifications arriving on your phone and adds features on the software side, including coming FourSquare support.

Android TV to Replace Google TV in Battle For the Smart Set

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While smartphones and tablets have exploded, the smart TV concept has struggled. Sure, people are buying sets, but those extra features and apps have been overlooked thanks to niche stores, complex menus and other customer experience issues. With an upcoming war against Apple and Microsoft, Google is changing its own game. 

Smartphones Grow Curves With the Galaxy Round

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 In vendors' increasingly desperate attempts to differentiate smartphones, we've seen them get larger, smaller, thinner and now curvier, thanks to Samsung's efforts with flexible displays. But what are the advantages of a curved-screen in a smartphone. Korea finds out tomorrow, the rest of the world will have to wait a while. 

Samsung's Galaxy Gear Smartwatch Packs in the Apps, Arriving 25 September

Galaxy Gear smartwatch Whatever the high hopes for smartwatch technology, first impressions suggest the world isn't quite ready for Star Trek level tech yet, with another Android-based device failing to inspire as the Gear and S Voice technology offer limited interaction and camera capabilities.

Mobile Security For Businesses: Lookout Jumps Onboard

Mobile Enterprise, Mobile Security For Businesses: Lookout Jumps OnboardMobile users in business are worried about security. This much we know. A recent survey found that data loss was a greater concern to IT than malware (75% versus 47%). 

Watch Samsung Unveil the Galaxy Gear Live at Unpacked 2 from IFA Berlin

samsung unpacked galaxy gear smartwatchSamsung takes its shot at smartwatch fame, unveiling the Galaxy Gear and launching several other devices at its second Unpacked event of 2013 from IFA Berlin. You can watch the livestream here. 

Smartwatch Roundup: Galaxy Gear Could Lack Juice as Google Prepares Its Own Watch

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Whatever it looks like, and whatever tech is inside it, Samsung looks like getting a march on most rivals with its smartwatch. But early hints suggest the combination of screen, radios and apps make for a battery hog, while Google has acquired quietly to develop its own product. 

Mobile Roundup, Apple iPhone Trade-Ins, Samsung Galaxy Gear and Note III Event Confirmed

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Apple is trying to make it easier to upgrade to the new iPhone with trade-in deals likely though Apple Stores while Samsung's new smartwatch is ticking down for a major launch event. 

Facebook Helps Launch Internet.org to Offer Global Internet and Mobile Access

internetorg.jpgFacebook and a host of mobile partners are trying to promote Internet access for all through improved connectivity, mobility and devices. Is that a noble plan, or a marketing scheme in disguise, destined to fail among a world of vested interests? 

Samsung Dominates In Smartphones but Market Share is Falling

Samsung's market share is pretty much out of reach now, with its huge device range, but Apple's profits remain untouchable, even as the little guys start to crank up the sales. 

Bad News in Mobile, S&P Cuts Nokia's Rating as Samsung and HTC Profits Flutter

Bad News in Mobile: S&P Cut Nokia's Rating, Samsung and HTC Profits Flutter

While the summer kicks in and the holidays stack up, the once vigorous mobile sector seems unable to take the heat. Looking more like a fading star as the under-performing results mount up and the market stagnates, leading to reductions in analyst expectations and credit ratings.

Apple Sailing Into A Perfect Storm? In Transition and Under Fire

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Apple is all revved up for its a big second half to 2013 with iOS 7, new iPhones and iPads plus its future (not so) mystery gadgets. But are forces starting to conspire against Apple? Facing angry legislators and market rivals, new partners and a pragmatic, more cynical customer, Apple's efforts might not be enough to maintain its lustre.

Sony Goes Large and Fast With the New Waterproof Xperia Z Ultra

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Trying to regain some relevance in the market, Sony is super-sizing its latest high-end Xperia Z, the dunkable Android, with a 6.4" full HD display. Is this, and its associated new SmartWatch 2, now a truly desirable device or the last stylings of a dying breed? 

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